Monday, November 24, 2008

Is your high-speed memory card running slow? - Monday, Nov. 24, 2008

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Monday, Nov. 24, 2008

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Is your high-speed memory card running slow?

QI'm flummoxed by flash memory cards. I've bought some high-speed cards for my camera. However, they don't seem to make a difference. They don't work any faster than slow, off-brand cards. I'd like to measure their write speed. How can I do this? Even a relative measurement would be useful for comparing cards.
—Mike in Yarmouth, ME, listening on WGAN 560 AM

AHigh-speed memory cards are expensive. They may cost four or five times more than a regular card. You want to get your money's worth. Besides, some cameras require fast cards for certain features.

Unfortunately, memory card speed is difficult to determine. Most people rely on the manufacturer's information, assuming they even care.

I figure the manufacturer is providing relatively accurate information. Otherwise, it could be sued into oblivion.

Nonetheless, I have some tips for estimating a card's speed. I'll get to them in a minute. First, let's look at some things that could be causing your problem.

Counterfeiting is huge. Maybe you picked up some counterfeit cards. They would certainly be slower than the speed cited on the package. Also, the memory is probably low quality. This can lead to corrupt data.

Counterfeit cards shouldn't be a problem if you buy through legitimate sources. I doubt that major stores would risk selling counterfeit goods.

Smaller stores could be duped into purchasing counterfeit memory cards. Or, unscrupulous sellers knowingly sell fake cards. For this reason, I recommend that you never buy a memory card on eBay. The risks are just too high.

I'm going to assume that your memory cards aren't counterfeit. That only leaves one reason for the lack of speed: your camera.

Fast cards run slow in pokey cameras. Click here for all the details.

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Digital Minute, on your radio: We've all been frustrated by new gadgets. So, I have an important tip for you while you Christmas shop.

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Kim :)

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